Tide Turns for Class of 2013
WI Web Staff | 5/23/2013, 8 a.m.
It's graduation season and families across the country are celebrating their successful graduates. These grads make up the few who have beaten the odds that contribute to the growing numbers of students who don't finish high school, who don't make it into college, or who drop out of college. They represent the ones who have successfully matriculated in four years or less, as well as the increasing numbers of students who took five or more years to complete their academic program. Regardless, they finished. Let the celebrations begin.
President Obama accurately shared the reality of graduation in his address last weekend to the Class of 2013 at Morehouse University in Atlanta when he opened with, "Some of you are graduating summa cum laude. Some of you are graduating magna cum laude. I know some of you are just graduating, 'thank you, Lordy.'" His comments were followed by laughter and applause.
So this is a time of celebration, if just for the moment. These graduates are the one's who believed that a college education would ensure their chances of employment and that they would receive the top choices of jobs with higher rates of pay and that offer greater opportunities for advancement. They believed it and now they are ready to receive the benefits of their labor.
The reality, however, according to a Fidelity survey, is that the average Class of 2013 grad is facing $35,200 in student loans, credit card debt and money owed to families. Additionally, studies show that while the jobless rate in the U.S. is improving, and companies report they plan to hire more college graduates, many will still find it difficult to find a job, and harder to find a good paying job. Consequently, many may take longer to invest in a home, purchase an automobile or marry. And, a significant number of parents will be converting that extra space back into the room their graduate occupied before going on to college as a host of college grads will return home.
Clearly, college grads and their parents will need patience for the immediate future. Graduates will need to prove to employers that they are in fact ready for the world of work and that they are coming with the skills that employers need and are willing to pay for. Their success could hinge on something as simple but as important as submitting a resume or other documents with all of the t's crossed, i's dotted and no misspelled words.
We offer this small bit of advice for the multitude of job seekers in the Class of 2013. But we also see the tide turning toward a more positive outlook for college grads. We remain optimistic that the future stays bright for this year's college graduates.